Trump’s cabinet picks have proven to be excellent, with Jeff Sessions as Attorney General effectively tackling the rampant fraud and medical abuse that is taking place across this nation.
In one shocking case of Medicaid fraud, Sessions has busted a hospital for violating the False Claims Act and fraudulently making illegal payments and filing false claims. According to the Department of Justice website, the medical facility has agreed to pay $12.24 million to settle the allegations.
Santa Fe’s Christus St. Vincent Regional Medical Center and its partner, the Texas-based Christus Health, has agreed to pay a staggering $12.24 million in reparations to settle a whistleblower lawsuit over Medicaid payments.
The facilities are accused of making illegal payments between 2001 and 2009 to county governments that were then used to fund the state’s “matching” share of Medicaid payments to the hospital.
In other words, the hospital was accused of giving their own money and services in return for receiving larger amounts when the hospital funding–and county dollars–were matched 3-to-1 by the federal government.
“Congress expressly intended that states and counties use their own money when seeking federal matching funds,” said Acting Assistant Attorney General Chad Readler. “Using local funds provides an incentive for the counties and states to, among other things, hold down costs rather than rely on non bona-fide donations by private providers.”
“Protecting the integrity of the Medicaid program is crucial because millions of Americans, including hundreds of thousands of New Mexicans, depend on the program for medical care and related services,” said District Attorney James Tierney of New Mexico. “This case illustrates our commitment to ensuring that government’s funds are legally obtained and used for their intended purposes. We will use all available civil remedies to recover the ill-gotten gains obtained by those who defraud government health care programs.”
However, the hospital still refuses to admit their guilt in this affair, as a $12 million settlement is a profoundly large amount for a case that ‘supposedly’ has no justification behind it. When considering the size and levels of funding that these rural hospitals receive, $12 million for them is no small amount.
Christus St. Vincent said they agreed to the settlement because “expending additional time and resources defending the lawsuit is not in the best interest of the Santa Fe community or the Hospital.”
The case originated with a lawsuit filed by a former Los Alamos County health care administrator under the qui tam provision of the False Claims Act, which allows private parties to bring a suit on behalf of the government and to share in the recovery. The whistle-blower ended up receiving a $2.25 million share of the settlement.
This announcement is just part of a much larger investigation against an epidemic of health fraud cases across the country. Two months ago, Sessions’ team revealed a massive $1.3 billion fraud-ring being perpetrated all across the country, according to the New York Times. Arresting over 400 people, including many doctors, the nation’s medical establishment is still reeling from the scandalous discovery.
As these ancillary cases are getting revealed at an ever increasing pace, it’s remarkable to see how deeply this corruption has seeped into this nation’s healthcare system – with even hospitals and doctors committing blatant fraud all in the pursuit of more profits.